THE MAGNIFICENT MONARCH
Charles II and the Ceremonies of Power

ANNA KEAY
336pp 15 COLOUR ILLUS 2008 LIST PRICE: £45.00 B730

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Description
From crown wearing in the Middle Ages to the jubilees of modern times, the English monarchy has always used the rituals of majesty to command the affection and loyalty of its subjects. This book examines the ceremonial world of an English sovereign. In an age when the king still healed the sick and took his meals in front of spectators, a sovereign's ability to carry off this public role could be as important to his success as his command of the army. Charles II lived through a period of great political change, witnessing revolution, regicide and restoration. At just 16 he was cast into exile. At the court of the young Louis XIV and then of Philip IV of Spain, he wrestled for recognition. With the Restoration, Charles brought the lessons of exile home and used the rituals of royalty to help save the institution of hereditary monarchy. Using a huge range of primary material, and painting a vivid and detailed picture of the daily life of this charismatic monarch, Keay’s 'ritual biography' radically reappraises Charles II as The Magnificent Monarch.
This thoroughly researched book modifies one’s view of Charles II and deepens our understanding of this most enigmatic of British kings. DAILY TELEGRAPH